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I need a stable overclock guide for i7 990x / DX58SO2

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February 1, 2012 1:07:07 PM

I just finished buiding my new computer yesterday, the basic specs are as follows:

CPU: Intel I7 990x (Stock DBX-B thermal solution Cooling)
MB: Intel Extreme X58 LGA 1366 DX58SO2
PS: Antec High Current Pro HCP-1200
Memory: Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K3/12GX DDR3-1600 (6x4GB) CL9
Case: IN WIN DESTINY-Extreme Series Ironclad (4 20mm fans 1 120mm fan)
HDD: 300GB WD VelociRaptor 10,000 rpm X2 (Raid 0)
OS: Win7 Pro 64bit
Display Adapter: X2 SLI eVGA GeForce GTX 460 SuperClocked 1 GB - GDDR5 SDRAM
ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card

The computer seems to run fine at stock settings, but I did not buy the I7 990X to run it at stock settings. However, I'm new to OCing. I'm looking for an optimal stable OC walkthrough. I've tried using the intel (Slight OC) autotuning app and noticed that it only raised my ram speed to 1338Mhz (or thereabouts). THe point is, I'd like to take advantage of the 1600Mhz ram I have, but I don't want to destroy the machine either by doing somthing wrong. I've conducted an exhaustive search using all the terms my limited computer speak vocabulary could come up with, but have struck out...

I'd appreciate any help I could get!

Thank you!

Best solution

February 1, 2012 3:02:26 PM

Firstly, don't OC on a stock cooler!

Secondly that's a very niche chip, you'll be lucky if you find a guide. Overclocking the 920 / 930 (or any 1366 CPU) is basically the same idea as the 990x except you have an unlocked multiplier so to increase the frequency you would use a combination of Blk increases and multi increases (200 Blk + 27 multi = 4700 MHz, as an example).

Read up on some 920 guides, there's TONES. Learn how your CPU operates, about QPI and how the Blk effects pretty much every other frequency (RAM, Uncore, QPI etc).

Good luck :) ....and don't try any crazy OCing with a stock cooler!!!!!
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February 1, 2012 5:51:50 PM

Thanks for the reply Joe, but have you looked at the i990x stock cooler? It's pretty beefy, and stress testing has confirmed, at least to me, that it's quite effective. I've not registered a temp over 74 degrees and I only saw it get that high when I was placing a 100% load on the CPU for an extended period of time. (more than an hour, less than 2)

Anyway, I don't want to reach, or even bump the mythical 5Ghz level of OCing... I'm just looking to run the chip at say, 3.8 or 4Ghz, somthing stable, indefinately sustainable and which will lend itself well to multiple applications... I do however, want the ram to run at its designated spec of 1600Mhz... I mean, why spend the money if you don't use it to it's potential.
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February 2, 2012 10:54:22 AM

I played around with the software OC tuner that comes with my MOBO yesterday for quite awhile, trying to find OC settings I’d be happy with, and more importantly the computer would be happy with… I struck out…

I’m using the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility to make the changes to the various BIOS settings in my quest to achieve an acceptable, stable, and indefinitely sustainable OC. In this program there is included an Autotuning feature, which actually works……sorta… I used this option, basically because I am nervous about messing with to much of the manual stuff.

So anyway, the best I could get out of the autotuning process was a paltry and laughable 3.54 MHz, over the stock 3.46 MHz… I think that perhaps my memory is holding me back… I think it reasonable to assume that autotuning would not get me to the bleeding sweaty edge, but it should do better than what I’m seeing… For some reason, the memory I have seems to not like running past the 1350mhz area…. I don’t have any idea why… Am I just not making the appropriate adjustments to achieve the 1600Mhz the memory says it’s designed for?

I did try to manually adjust the memory settings to default at 1600 Mhz, but it’s not stable…. This is driving me nutz!
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February 2, 2012 3:01:50 PM

Ok, I did some research and found this setup, which, the author states is stable at 1600 Mhz for my memory:

Uncore Multiplier: 18
Memory Multiplier: 12
tCL: 9
tRCD: 9
tRP: 9
tRASmin: 24
tRFC: 80
tRRD: 5
tWR: 12
tWTR: 6
tRTP: 6
tRC: 36
tFAW: 24
Memory Voltage: 1.6
QPI Voltage: 1.225
Command Rate: Auto

I did find a reference however, regarding the aformentioned info, that Kingston recommends that the Uncore Multiplier be set at 18X, 20X or 22X... I'm going to make sure 18X is stable on my setup, then I might try 20X, we'll see.

I also found that Kingston specs calls for my memory to run at 9-9-9-27 at 1.65V on a X58 platform. I'm not sure where I am right now, I'll check when I get home later tonight.

Does anyone have any alternate recommendations? This is a learning process for me, any input would be appreciated, and at any rate, I still need some reccomendations regarding the OCing of the CPU...

Thanks everyone!
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February 3, 2012 2:02:16 AM

I tried the above settings, they did not work... Very unstable, for a bit I had a bit of panick as my machine would not even post... I'm still lost...
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February 10, 2012 10:51:21 AM

I have not selected a best answer, because I have not gotten an answer. I did recieve some good advice from joedjnpc, but he/she was unable to point me to the requested resource material I'm looking for.
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February 16, 2012 11:53:56 AM

I have not yet found a stable overclock guide for the Intel I 990X CPU, but I have, over time, come up with my own, which actually is quite simple, but was extremely time consuming... What I did was, using the overclocking utility, just manually and VERY gradually increased the individual setting to a stable 4Ghz clock speed... It took allot of time, but now that I'm done, I'm happy with the result.

On a side note, I also resolved my memory speed issue. As it turns out, this was a VERY simple solution... I simply enabled the 1600Mhz XMP profile in my BIOS settings, and restarted my machine. The memory now runs beautifully at about 1732Mhz, which is over the manuafacturers specifications, but as I did not increase the voltage in any respect, I should not see any issues.

Those of you with more expereince, I'd appreciate any comments, specifically regarding the memory overclock. I just want to make sure that runnig the memory a little faster, without a voltage increase is ok...

Thanks!
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February 16, 2012 1:57:05 PM

I have just found what I think may be a problem, and I need some help working it out... I'm running 24g of 1600Mhz memory... My Mobo supports 1600Mhz+ memory. However, I'm running an I7 990X CPU, and I noted the specs indicate that the 990X only supports 24g of 1066Mhz memory!

Using the XMP 1600 profile, the computer seems to run fine... Are there hidden issues, or issues I am currently unaware of, with running 24g of 1600Mhz memory in my system, considering the published 1066Mhz memory limitation on the CPU?
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February 28, 2012 8:41:12 PM

Best answer selected by Bacon12.
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a b K Overclocking
April 4, 2012 2:26:47 PM

I realize you have selected a best answer but here is my 2cents.

With a bclk of 133 and multiplier of 33 and Vcore of 1.356 and everything else on auto I can run prime 95 stable. That is 4.4 GHz at 63 degrees with a noctua d14. The Vcore limit according to Intel is 1.4V and the stock temp under load is 68.1 degrees. To hit 4.54 GHz I need 1.41 V to be prime 95 stable and 1.45 to hit 4.67GHz. 24/7 I run at 4.4GHz since it is well with the stock voltage and temp range. You should be able to do the same but I would be really carefull with that stock cooler.
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April 4, 2012 5:06:40 PM

Hey, great hearing from you! Thanks for your response!

Through allot of trial and error I have pretty much figured this out... The info on the vcore voltages however will be usful thanks.

I've also updated this rig a bit, as follows:

I7 990x (Corsair H100 Liquid Cooler)
Intel DX58SO2
Antec HCP-1200
Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 (6x4GB)
Corsair 800D
2 300GB WD VelociRaptor (Raid 0)
Win7 Pro 64bit
2 SLI eVGA GeForce GTX 460 1GB SC
Asus Xonar DX

Right now I'm running stable at 133 / X30 / 1.35V. It looks like I can probably push it a bit further with my current vcore. I don't want to push the system to 5Ghz, although, with the H100 cooler, I may be able to do so. Right now I'm running at 4 Ghz, which is just fine, but I'll likely go ahead and push it to 4.4Ghz like yours, just to take full advantage of my current vcore setting.

Question, I noted that my memory XMP profile sets one of the multipliers to 27, I'm running them all at X30 now and have had no problems... What is the effect of changing the XMP pre-defined multiplier beyond X27?
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a b K Overclocking
April 4, 2012 7:12:38 PM

If you are happy with 4GHz, you should be able to drop the Vcore and be 100% stable. From the threads on many different forums that I have read 1.35V is the common Vcore to reach 4.4GHz and be 100% stable. That is why I went straight to 1.35V at 4.4 GHz. If you are happy with 4GHz then maybe you should try dropping the Vcore to 1.25V and if it is not stable then slowly increase the Vcore until it is. I think 1.35V is too high for 4GHz and may be generating unescessary heat as a result of too much voltage. I am not familiar with the BIOS that Intel uses are you talking about changing the memory mulitiplier? If so , you can do whatever you want with it as long as the memory is running at a frequency that it can handle.
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April 4, 2012 9:55:34 PM

Thanks for the great advice! I went ahead and bumped the muliplier to X33, ran Prime 95 for about an hour, 100% stable at 4.4 Ghz and the highest temp I saw was 54C...

Very nice! Thanks!
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April 22, 2012 10:52:28 PM

Beacon I have the 980x and 24GB ram. Filling all 6 dimms highly stresses your CPU's IMC's and will be your biggest challenge when OCing. I run my QPI/DRAM core volts (Vtt) @1.40v for a 24/7 completely stable 4.3GHz OC.

I use different ram (24GB CORSAIR DOMINATOR DDR3 1600MHz kit) with the same recommended settings as yours (9-9-9-24 @ 1.65v).

I have found I have better results with stability running lower latency and voltage ram settings (8-8-8-20 @ 1.5635v @ 1595MHz) with a 159 BCLK and 27 CPU multi than I do trying to increase the rams speed.

Raising the CPU PLL to 1.855v helped to stabilize these settings as well. At the stock PLL of 1.81v I could only pass prime 95 for 2hrs. Now at 1.855v PLL it at least seems that I can run Prime95 indefinitely.

Settings:

CPU Ratio: 27
BCLK Freq: 159
DRAM Freq: 1595Mhz
RAM Timings: 8-8-8-20 / CR2
CPU Voltage: 1.36875
QPI/DRAM core volts (vtt): 1.40
DRAM Bus Voltage: 1.5635
CPU PLL: 1.855
IOH Voltage (NB): 1.20575
IOH PCIE Voltage (NB): Auto (1.51)
ICH Voltage (SB): 1.20575
ICH PCIE Voltage (SB): Auto (1.51)

More Bios settings (your motherboard may be different):

CPU Differential Amplitude: Auto
CPU Clock Skew: Auto
IOH Clock Skew: Auto
Digi+ Pwr Mode: T-Balanced
PWM Volt. Control: Auto
Load-Line Calibration: Full Calibration
CPU Voltage OCP: Enabled
CPU PWM Frequency: Auto
Extreme OV: Disabled
Extreme OC: Auto
CPU Spread Spectrum: Disabled
PCI Spread Spectrum: Disabled

Advanced CPU Settings:

C1E Suppport: Disabled
Hardware Prefetcher: Enabled
Adjacent Cache Line Prefetch: Enabled
Intel® Virtualization Tech: Disabled
CPU TM Function: Disabled
Execute Disable Bit: Disabled
Intel HT Techology: Enabled
Active Processor Cores: All
A20M: Disabled
Intel SpeedStep Tech: Disabled
Intel C-STATE Tech: Disabled

I can and have run much higher stable OC's however with 24GB ram. Those (100% stable, much higher) OC's come at the price of to much QPI/DRAM core volts (vtt). I am comfortable with the long term affects of 1.40v QPI/DRAM (vtt) but no higher. I intend to use this CPU for a long time.

The 980x and the 990x are almost the same CPU but even If they were both 990x still no 2 of them will act exactly the same.
There are other variables as well like ram and motherboard but, this is what works for me and maybe you will be able to find some of this info useful.
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April 23, 2012 12:54:29 PM

Hey great hearing from you!

By way of an update, I ran Prime 95 (blend) for 48 hours straight at my current settings. Highest temp I saw was 54C. Completely, rock solid stable. I'm loving it.

Regarding the info you provided concerning the amount of Ram I have; I was unaware of the issues surrounding filling all the slots. But, as luck would have it, I'm stable.

Thanks again for you're two cents.
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a b K Overclocking
April 23, 2012 3:33:06 PM

Glad to hear it works well for you. I am really suprised that this thread has not been closed yet.
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April 23, 2012 8:07:26 PM

Bacon12 said:
Hey great hearing from you!

By way of an update, I ran Prime 95 (blend) for 48 hours straight at my current settings. Highest temp I saw was 54C. Completely, rock solid stable. I'm loving it.

Great, Glad to hear it!

alrobichaud said:
I am really suprised that this thread has not been closed yet.

Nooooooo, don't do It! OC'ing is an ongoing thing and this thread is still a good place for others to post questions as well, besides we're all still getting along! LOL
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a b K Overclocking
April 24, 2012 10:33:37 AM

Idonno said:
Great, Glad to hear it!


Nooooooo, don't do It! OC'ing is an ongoing thing and this thread is still a good place for others to post questions as well, besides we're all still getting along! LOL



I recall you getting in a very heated debate a few months back which turned into a lot of people taking a jab at you and I am sure a lot of it was due to jealousy so I am supprised no one has stuck their nose in here to tell us that our systems are overkill.
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April 24, 2012 1:04:45 PM

alrobichaud said:
I recall you getting in a very heated debate a few months back which turned into a lot of people taking a jab at you and I am sure a lot of it was due to jealousy so I am supprised no one has stuck their nose in here to tell us that our systems are overkill.

Yea, I was actually thinking of that when I saw your name and then posted "besides we're all still getting along!" Are you leasing any processing power to NASA yet? LOL You do have a nice system.

On that thread I pissed off a couple of ----K (not looking to start again) fan boys who were unrealistically bragging about how much better there CPU's were to the OP when I chimed in with my opinion and some facts. After they made a few wise A-- comments, I made one back and to top it off the OP stated he planned on using the 990X which (i think) really pissed them off.

I still think it was one of them (I'm fairly certain of the exact one) who then created a new acct under the name "thisguyisnuts" so he could flame with impunity. I think I did a fairly good job of holding my own and even though I kind of enjoyed the debate a little, It was still kind of refreshing when someone (you) who wasn't a hater showed up. So thanks for posting!

I still believe the CPU and platform the fan boys thought was so great is in no way superior to what we have. A great value maybe, but that's about it. Really when you take both the platform and the CPU into account it can't hold a candle to ours. And while ours is bested buy the LGA 2011/3960X it's only by about 10%. With more cores becoming more common the fan-boys rigs will slip into mediocrity long before ours.

You have to be careful talking about this stuff, I usually spend (waste) a considerable amount of time telling the fan-boys how great their ----K's are to pacify them before explaining the facts so I don't end up in another thread like that one, although it didn't help there.

Anyway, glad to here every thing worked out with eBay and now that you own a 990x don't you wish you had bought a fan-boy CPU? ROFL
:pt1cable: 
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June 27, 2012 6:57:21 AM

@Bacon12: We use the same board and similar processor, mine 980x
would you please tell me your BIOS settings compleely?
please
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June 30, 2012 3:19:09 AM

vziera said:
@Bacon12: We use the same board and similar processor, mine 980x
would you please tell me your BIOS settings compleely?
please


See Idonno's post above. He did a pretty good job of listing a good OC.
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May 1, 2014 10:12:31 AM

Hi,Idonno
I would use your settings for my Rampage iii Extreme + 980x + 24G RAM 2000Mhz(CMT12GX3M3A2000C9 x6).
would you give me a stable overclocking 4.2G-4.7G setting as you listed above?

thk you.

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May 1, 2014 6:27:25 PM

wwwooo said:
Hi,Idonno
I would use your settings for my Rampage iii Extreme + 980x + 24G RAM 2000Mhz(CMT12GX3M3A2000C9 x6).
would you give me a stable overclocking 4.2G-4.7G setting as you listed above?

thk you.


With a 980X anything much over 4.4GHz for a 24/7 stable overclock is probably a pipe dream. I ran 4.42GHz 24/7 for a few months and it was pretty stable except occasionally when it wasn't.

I have since dropped back to 4.3339GHz this has proven to be rock solid for the last year and it feels a little bettor not being so close to the edge.

My present settings for this 4.3339GHz OC are as follows:

CPU Ratio: 27
BCLK Freq: 160
DRAM Freq: 1604Mhz
RAM Timings: 8-9-8-24 / 2N (CR2)
CPU Voltage: 1.36875
QPI/DRAM core volts (vtt): 1.375
DRAM Bus Voltage: 1.6165
CPU PLL: 1.8285
IOH Voltage (NB): 1.113
IOH PCIE Voltage (NB): Auto (1.51)
ICH Voltage (SB): 1.113
ICH PCIE Voltage (SB): Auto (1.51)

More Bios settings (your motherboard may be different):

CPU Differential Amplitude: Auto
CPU Clock Skew: Auto
IOH Clock Skew: Auto
Digi+ Pwr Mode: T-Balanced
PWM Volt. Control: Auto
Load-Line Calibration: Full Calibration
CPU Voltage OCP: Enabled
CPU PWM Frequency: Auto
Extreme OV: Disabled
Extreme OC: Auto
CPU Spread Spectrum: Disabled
PCI Spread Spectrum: Disabled

Advanced CPU Settings:

C1E Suppport: Disabled
Hardware Prefetcher: Enabled
Adjacent Cache Line Prefetch: Enabled
Intel® Virtualization Tech: Enabled
CPU TM Function: Enabled
Execute Disable Bit: Enabled
Intel HT Techology: Enabled
Active Processor Cores: All
A20M: Disabled
Intel SpeedStep Tech: Disabled
Intel C-STATE Tech: Disabled

Your OC's will undoubtedly be a little different that would hold true even if all our components had the same part numbers, but this should be a good reference.

Another thing that helps is keeping records of every attempt. I created this OC test sheet when trying to OC my ram to its max. On the test sheet "Memory Read" through "FPU SinJulia" are from the benchmark section of an application called "AIDA64 Extreme".
This app can be very useful as you are trying to approach the maximum threshold of stability. You can often see the results become less optimal as you approach instability, at which point you can back off to the best results. " alt="" class="imgLz frmImg " />
It might come in handy for you.

Even though I have IOH & ICH Voltage on the sheet, I would just leave them on auto.

CPU PLL may help if tweaked just a little, but I would make this one of the last settings you mess with if you do at all.

Also remember that the max supported ram speed for our motherboards is 1066 or 1366 with a 980x/990x. That doesn't mean you can't go higher only that it isn't supported and is therefore considered overclocking. You may not be able to reach your rams 2000MHz but I would be happy with anything over 1800MHz.
Good luck and have fun.:D 
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May 4, 2014 3:05:53 PM

Mine is as follows:4.5G/1805Mhz(my memory is 24G/2000Mhz)
CPU Ratio: 30
BCLK Freq: 150
DRAM Freq: 1805Mhz
RAM Timings: 9-9-9-24 /2N <-I am setting to auto,because when I change lower the vaule, will be crashed.
CPU Voltage: 1.385
QPI/DRAM core volts (vtt): 1.38
DRAM Bus Voltage: 1.64
CPU PLL: 1.855
IOH Voltage (NB): Auto
IOH PCIE Voltage (NB): Auto
ICH Voltage (SB): Auto
ICH PCIE Voltage (SB): Auto
*All other items below same as your's
Q1:would you pls give me your comment,where is too high or too low?
Q2:If I like to try the memory reach up to 1900Mhz or even 2000Mhz,how should I change it? thk you for your great helps.
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May 4, 2014 3:35:59 PM

Idonno said:
3704279,19,602282
With more cores becoming more common the fan-boys rigs will slip into mediocrity long before ours.
[/msgquoted said:


Alot of people will upgrade to the next 4 core before it is time to be switching up to 6/8 cores, but that time you could still be able to put off buying a new chip. It may be a workstation type chip for doing lots of demanding things, but for the price it's a bloody good investment. Soon it will become a gaming chip and you can take full advantage of that while everyone waits to upgrade.Will you have to upgrade by then, will there be such a big performance gap between 900 extreme series and whats to come, Or will they just revise a chip giving similar performance to yours and throw it at the mainstream market. I have the 4670k, although it is a good chip with newer technology and probably better for gaming in this day and age I would still prefer a 990x, infact I would consider a 4820k over the 4670k
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May 6, 2014 9:06:41 PM

wwwooo said:

Q1:would you pls give me your comment,where is too high or too low?
Q2:If I like to try the memory reach up to 1900Mhz or even 2000Mhz,how should I change it? thk you for your great helps.


First, I'll explain a few things. If you already know these things just ignore them.

1.) Unless your in a competition a high OC will do you no good unless it's stable over the long term. For me 4.5GHz was to high for my CPU cooler in any kind of prolonged stress test.

4.42GHz seemed good at first but over a two month period I had 3or4 crashes and the occasional short screen freeze (2 to 3 times a week) running it 24/7.

4.33GHz is what I use now 24/7 and although 4.4 is also 100% stable, it just feels better and safer to be a little further away from instability.

2.) CPU temperature is real important when stress testing an overclock. Download "RealTempGT" and use it to keep an eye on your core temps while stress testing. I try to keep my temps under 90c while stressing. If on the rare occasion it jumps to 91 or 92 for a second that's ok as long as it's about an 85-87 average (pr core). if it goes higher you need to lower your OC or get a better cooler.

3.) Good stress tests are: "prime95", "IntelBurnTest" and "AIDA64 Extreme".
AIDA64 Extreme also has some very good CPU & RAM benchmark tests which can assist you in your overclocking.

I usually check the performance of new settings with AIDA64 benchmark tests then as long as that looks OK I then stress it with IntelBurnTest @ high stress level for 5 passes. If all appears stable I'll bump the numbers up a little more and repeat or if I feel I'm as high as I can/want to go I'll run IntelBurnTest with more passes and a higher stress level, lower my OC if necessary then test with AIDA64 system stability test overnight. I don't use prime95 that often but it is a good tool if you chose to.

4.) Keep records they come in real handy when overclocking. That's why I posted that OC test sheet.

5.) You will not be able to achieve as high of an OC with all six ram dimms full as it is harder on your CPU's IMC (Integrated Memory Controller) and if you fry that you might as well just toss your CPU in the trash.
And remember our motherboards and CPU's max supported ram speed is 1366Mhz so just because your ram is capable of 2000Mhz does not mean it can reach that on our platforms. Also your ram (very nice ram by the way) comes in a 3 module kit so when you added another kit to make 6 modules you lowered the possibility that all 6 will play nice together and added more stress to the CPU's IMC. There is a reason 1600Mhz was the fastest 6 module kit sold for the X58 platform.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying what you did was bad and even though you did take a risk of getting incompatible kits the fact that you have gotten 1805Mhz out of them shows that they are indeed playing together nice but I doubt you you will get them to go much higher. In fact you may have to lower it a little for complete stability. We'll see.

Your recommended timings are 9-10-9-27. Yours are set at 9-9-9-24 which is faster and should be harder to achieve and makes 1805Mhz even more impressive.

You said: "9-9-9-24 /2N <-I am setting to auto,because when I change lower the vaule, will be crashed" are you just talking about the 2N or the 9-9-9-24 as well? If your just talking about the 2N on auto try the recommended 9-10-9-27. Since you have 6 sticks instead of 3 you could also try relaxing the timings even more to something like 10-10(or 11)-10-30. I don't know how much faster you can get your ram, but it is very good ram and 2000Mhz with all 6 dimms full would be pretty cool!
Also make sure the XMP profile is not selected in bios (should be manual) there is no 6 dimm XMP profile for your 3 dimm kits.

You could also try lowering your CPU ratio and raising your BCLK to see if that helps. Other than that it's just allot of trial and error, testing.

I don't know if you will be able to get 4.5GHz rock solid stable 24/7. I doubt it, but if your lucky enough to have just the right hardware I don't think it's impossible.

Good luck and let me know how it works out! :D 



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